Hayden Donnell

Hayden Donnell is a staff writer for The Spinoff.

Local Elections
Oct 15, 2019

10 questions with Auckland's re-elected mayor Phil Goff

Phil Goff was returned by a huge margin on Saturday. How will he put that mandate to use this term?

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Local Elections
Oct 13, 2019

Winners, losers, big losers, and gigantic losers from the 2019 local elections

Hayden Donnell identifies who did well, and who got massively owned, in the 2019 local elections.

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Local Elections
Oct 11, 2019

All the interesting, funny, weird, and bad things we didn't cover these local elections

Sorry about not covering everything that happened these local elections. To make it up to you, we’ve compiled all the stories we missed into an ultimate election-ending list.

Read on.


Local Elections
Oct 8, 2019

Not great: Auckland’s ‘one stop shops’ have been running out of voting papers

Good: setting up places for people to cast a special vote while they’re waiting for their dumplings. Bad: those places running out of voting papers. Hayden Donnell reports on some trouble with Auckland Council’s one stop shops.

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Local Elections
Oct 7, 2019

The motley crew trying to overthrow the old guard in the Far North

For decades, the Far North has been ruled by a collection of conservatives. Now a gang leader-turned-Man Up organiser, an ex Green Party MP, and the lead singer of Opshop are among those trying to replace them.

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Local Elections
Oct 2, 2019

Auckland’s penny-pinching rates protesters find a new hero

In the last public debate of the Auckland mayoral campaign, the three leading contenders fronted up to a crowd of rates-averse elderly people – and an unlikely hero emerged.

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Local Elections
Oct 2, 2019

The 26-year-old mayoral candidate trying to reshape Hamilton’s local politics

Louise Hutt is running for Hamilton mayor on a progressive platform. She talks to Hayden Donnell about her plans to start a political movement that will reshape local politics in the city lovingly known as the Tron.

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Local Elections
Sep 30, 2019

Penny Hulse signs off

Penny Hulse is retiring after a 27-year council career. She talked to Hayden Donnell about the reasons she stood down, the councillors she can’t stand, the Tamihere vs Goff battle, and her secret to staying sane during even the worst council meetings.

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Local Elections
Sep 26, 2019

Penny Hulse wraps up her council career with a plea to end petty politics

Penny Hulse made a call for collaboration and unity in the final meeting of her 27-year council career today. What are the chances her plea will be granted? Hayden Donnell delivers a grim assessment.

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Local Elections
Sep 26, 2019

No-one wants to stand in our local elections. No seriously, it’s bad

The headlines still haven't conveyed the true extent of the problem.

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Local Elections
Sep 25, 2019

Tubby Hansen’s voting booklet blurbs are precious works of art

Every three years, veteran election candidate Tubby Hansen releases major new literary works in the form of his Christchurch voting booklet blurbs. Often they go unappreciated, but not this time.

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Society
Sep 23, 2019

Get It To Rainbow’s End? Hope on the horizon for the Big Fresh Fruit & Veges

A perfectly preserved set of Big Fresh Animatronic Fruit and Veges went on sale this week. Hayden Donnell delivers an exclusive update on their fate.

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Local Elections
Sep 19, 2019

The two loud, angry campaigns that could swing the Auckland local elections

The power balance of the incoming Auckland Council could be decided by two overheated local debates about a golf course and a carpark. Hayden Donnell reports.

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Local Elections
Sep 18, 2019

Cheat sheet: How to not say Nazi stuff at an Auckland mayoral debate

Last night Auckland mayoral contender John Tamihere said "sieg heil" when answering a question on diversity. Sadly that has forced us to put together a cheat sheet on how not to say Nazi phrases in debates.

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Local Elections
Sep 17, 2019

Scandal: Councils spending too little on staff Christmas parties

Yesterday Newshub revealed something shocking and disheartening about the spending practices of our local councils. Hayden Donnell registers his disappointment.

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Local Elections
Sep 14, 2019

Hope, change, and a sprinkling of bigotry at Hamilton’s big mayoral debate

Hamilton councillors have drawn headlines this year for being anti-science and insensitive to terror victims. At a mayoral debate on Wednesday, there were signs a campaign for change is gathering …

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Local Elections
Sep 6, 2019

Should John Tamihere be allowed to shrug off past homophobic comments?

John Tamihere once called gay sex “unhealthy and violating” and has opposed gay marriage. Hayden Donnell follows him to a Rainbow Auckland debate.

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Local Elections
Sep 5, 2019

Race briefing: The fierce pit fight for control of Hamilton City Council

In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Hayden Donnell dips his toe into the extraordinary battle for the Tron.

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Local Elections
Sep 3, 2019

Revealed: The famous and interesting candidates standing in our local elections

You may think you’re not interested in the local elections. But did you know the candidate pool is a smorgasbord of celebs, weirdos, and otherwise interesting people? Hayden Donnell reports.

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Local Elections
Aug 28, 2019

The one, stupidly obvious change that would vastly improve our local elections

Some people say it’s confusing. Others think it’s boring. But running all its elections under an STV system could be the single most effective way for local government to fix its lack of diversity and woeful voting turnout.

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Local Elections
Aug 27, 2019

Can we find a single councillor who supports John Tamihere’s rates freeze?

John Tamihere’s rates freeze proposal was criticised from all sides yesterday, but does it have any political support? We contacted Auckland’s councillors to find out. 

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Local Elections
Aug 20, 2019

The invisible mayor: Phil Goff launches stealth campaign to keep his job

We head along to Goff's launch to retain his Auckland mayoralty. How did he get on?

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Local Elections
Aug 17, 2019

Inside the enclave of old that may win John Tamihere the mayoralty

The Spinoff is covering local elections across the country with a new pop-up section. To kick things off, Hayden Donnell went to a mayoral debate at Grey Power on the North Shore of Auckland.

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In My Backyard
Jul 8, 2019

How to change Auckland without making everyone mad

Auckland is going through a period of rapid change. Hayden Donnell talks to an urban design advisor about whether it’s possible to transform the city without riling everyone up.

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In My Backyard
Jun 26, 2019

The suburb at the crossroads of Auckland’s future

Mt Albert is a town at a crossroads. The pressures of growth are set to radically reshape the area, but so far change has left some of its residents and business owners pining for the past. Hayden Donnell travels to the suburb to talk to locals about the way forward.

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In My Backyard
Jun 19, 2019

Why Mt Albert is the best suburb in Auckland

Other suburbs have their appeal, but one rises above them all. Hayden Donnell argues Mt Albert is the best place to live in Auckland.

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